The following is the procedure I use to get headlights as clear as new.
Foam Sanding Block
400 Wet-sand Paper
600 Wet-sand Paper
800 Wet-sand Paper
1000 Wet-sand Paper
1500 Wet-sand Paper
2000 Wet-sand Paper
2" Painters tape
PlastX™ Clear Plastic Cleaner & Polish
Step 1: Mask off surrounding panels (Bumper, fender, and hood). This is to prevent you from sanding through the paint on the panels.
Step 2: Put all sandpaper in bucket, fill with water and a little Dish liquid (dish liquid is used to allow sandpaper to glide easier. W/O it, it can sometimes become like a suction cup and be very difficult to sand)
Step 3: Soak sponge and then use it to wipe off the headlight lenses to get any loose dirt off.
Step 4: Wrap 400 grit paper over foam sanding block and get busy. I like sanding in 1 direction and then going an opposite 40* for the next grit. Its easier to see where the sand scratches from the previous paper is and you can tell when you get rid of all of them.
Step 5: Continue sanding with 400. After a few minutes, wipe off lens and allow it to dry. You will see areas that are still yellowish and/or somewhat clear. You are going to want to keep wet-sanding until when the lens is dry it is completely white with no color changes.
Step 6: Once it is all completely white, go to the 600 at 40* to what you were previously sanding until 400 grit scratches are removed.
Step 7: Repeat step 6 working your way up, changing sanding direction from grit to grit until you get to 2000. When wet with the 2000, it will be somewhat clear... and most likely already look better than it did when you started depending on how bad your lights were in the 1st place.
Step 8: Now that you are done sanding, dry off the lens and any water off the surrounding paint.
Step 9: Now that it is all dry, its time to break out the buffer and PlastX. Apply some PlastX to the lens and buffer pad. At 1st just tap the trigger so the pad and PlastX gets spread out, if you go all out at the start, it will fling the PlastX all over the place.
Step 10: Continue buffing. Don't stay in 1 place too long and go from headlight to headlight. If you stay in place too long it will heat the plastic, causing it to yellow, and if real bad, it could warp it and possibly even create bubbles (this would take a good amount of heat to create bubbles... not sure if you could do it with a buffer).
Step 11: Buff until entire lense is clear. The light should look brand new providing you never had anything leaking inside of it.
Step 12: Pull off masking tape and give the car a wash to clean off any PlastX that may have flung.
P.S. + Rep points are always good!
ZX2Fast headlights before and after:
Last edited by ZX2Fast; 05-20-2008 at 11:13 PM. Reason: Added ZX2 headlight pictures.
awesome write up, thanks
May have to go back and do mine a little better. I just wet sanded with 1500 and 2000. Then went pack with plastic X
98 Black MTX (no options) retired at 339k miles. Powder UDP, Kamikaze header, 19mm RSB,Fidanza flywheel, progress springs/SR struts, Otter strut bar.
02 black MTX (loaded) 127k miles. MMI intake, LXQ1. Waiting for warm weather to swap the rest from the 98.
So I have to have a buffer to do this? LOL
Je Pistons, Crower Rods, FC Mains, Clevite Bearings, ARP hardware, JohnP head, SVT HG, 71 lb injectors, Crower titanium springs and retainers, OBX fuel rail, Aeromotive FPR, FRIM, Crown Vic TB, Wings West, Ground Controls, S/r Tokico, Tial 38mm wastegate, Precision Turbo, 3" DP, P/S/ A/C delete, Tial Q BOV, XCal3, 80mm MAF, Spec Stage 5, MFactory LSD, Motegi Tracklites, 3" Trubendz
Labor: 3+ years
like yellow said, unless you have a lot practice moving your arm fast, you will not generate enough heat to bring the shine back. Still, will never get the shine back using your hand.
At the dealership I just do:
Wool pad buff
Foam pad polish
Like I said in the last topic before the site crashed, I'll post pics of the way I do it too. Just for comparison. IMO there isn't a need to go coarser then 600. If the headlight is that bad it's most of the time a lost cause.
Just wondering if this buffer would be a good choice for the price to do this job.
if anyone has tryed this post some pics of befor after picks on a zx2.
2000 Black mtx, k&n short ram intake, pasesetter ceramic coated shorty header, magnaflow muffler,knocker mod, with altezza tailights,powders udp, s/r struts and drop zone springs.
i have done this a couple times with a mother's powerball. that shouldn't give me a problem should it?
I just did this on my ZX2. Passenger light is after, driver light is before I touched it. Great results!
Last edited by moffett; 06-25-2008 at 04:20 PM.
My ZX2 is Toast!
this can be done more easily with a mother's powerball (carguy07 mentioned it) and some aluminum polish. I have done this one two of my ZX2's and on my eclipse. It takes about 3-4 minutes each. Most of the time to do this is spent on masking off the surrounding area. To finish, just use a plastic polish or clear coat polish.
Just did this, but short cut the project by using 400 grit then 1000 grit, then buffing with PlastX. 5 min job with excellent results.
How many of you guys baked the headlamps to buff the inside? I was planning on sanding/buffing both sides and doing a bit of a blackout and clear corner mod while I had the headlight assemblies split.
Pics look great, btw.
Superchipped LXQ2, 19mm rsb, 14x6 Miata 7-spokes
There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)